Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Asian Earthworm on Golf Courses

Dr. David Smitley
Michigan State University

In Kentucky, Dr. Dan Potter has been studying the types of earthworms found on golf courses.  Traditionally most of the earthworms found on golf courses in North America are one of three or four species from Europe in the family Lumbricidae, mostly L. terrestris and Aprorrectodea spp.  These species tend to make mounds when the soil is saturated, especially in fall and early spring.  They do not usually cause mounding problems on sand-based greens.  In some recent survey work in Kentucky, Dr. Potter discovered an increasing frequency of a new earthworm from Asia: Amynthas hupeiensis. This is the most important earthworm problem on golf courses in Korea. A summary of his report is available at:

At this point we do not know how widely distributed Amynthas spp. are in Michigan or other Midwestern states, although it has been reported from Illinois.  If you are seeing change in earthworm mounding activity on your golf course, and particularly if you are seeing more mounding on sand-based greens during the summer, please let me know at:  smitley@cbs.msu.edu

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